If the video of the United passenger being pulled off a plane after refusing to give up his seat to accommodate airline employees made you want to avoid the airline for future travel, you don’t need to give up your hard-earned reward points as a part of #BoycottUnitedAirlines on Twitter.
Through the Star Alliance network, there are 26 other airlines you can use your points for, including Lufthansa, Air Canada and SAS.
Lufthansa, especially, is known for its first-class accommodations, so if you happen to be rich in points, you can use your MileagePlus rewards to upgrade to a luxury experience. Be sure to check the rules with each airline you want to use, however, as baggage fees and preferred seating may be different.
Another option for your miles is through the United shopping portal. This won’t get you the most value for your points, but if you’re anxious to switch loyalty programs and want to use up what you have as soon as possible, you can score some merchandise, purchase experiences or snag some tickets to a Broadway show using your rewards.
United MileagePlus points holders also have numerous hotel chains and car rental companies to choose from where you can use your points, though again, the value of each point will be diminished dramatically compared to using your points for flights. It is still a better option than letting them expire.
United Airlines shares dropped in value after the passenger incident was caught on video and made its way to millions of potential customers on the web. While we’ve seen companies rebound from a public relations crisis, emotional videos like this can turn customers off for good.
Luckily, you have other options for your points that you can take advantage of immediately if you are determined to not fly United again.
If you agree with how United handled the situation, then you may also be in luck as we could see some flight sales in the future as the airline tries to repair a damaged reputation.
Share your thoughts in the comments below on how United handled the incident and whether you’ll continue to use the airline, points or not!